Bumble reveals dating trends observed in 2021

As India slowly starts to open up post the second wave of the pandemic, Bumble, the women-first dating app, revealed interesting trends emerging in the Indian dating landscape.

Intentional dating is on the rise

Indian daters now have a renewed sense of clarity and confidence in taking control of their dating lives as they meet new people. Through Bumble’s recent nationwide research, we found that people are now dating more intentionally than before the pandemic – they’re being more honest about what they’re looking for in a relationship: 

  • One in two (46%) single Indians are looking for a committed, serious relationship in 2021, post the second wave of the pandemic.
  • One in five people are looking to get married (New Delhi, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad rank the highest).
  • More than one in three (33%) are feeling hopeful about dating right now as lockdown restrictions lift across India.
  •  33% of single Indians are using video dates to really get to know each other better before meeting IRL.

Dating habits adopted during the pandemic are here to stay

Bumble observed shifts in dating priorities and preferences, predicting that the behaviors we’ve developed won’t disappear overnight. Many people will not want to let go of some of the new dating norms which have developed over the past year. In particular:

Post the second wave of the pandemic, emotional connection (60%) and kindness (55%) top the charts when asked what’s most important to single Indians when it comes to choosing a partner. Social good in terms of volunteering, donating to social causes (48%) especially rank high in preferences for millennials in India. Other priorities are:

    • Choice of career/ambition – 45%
    • Compatibility of interests – 45%
    • Financial stability – 40%
    • Empathy – 32%

With more and more Indians getting vaccinated each day, single Indians are once again starting to date in-person as restrictions are beginning to ease across the country.

Top 5 choices for Ideal first IRL dates in 2021

    • Long drives
    • Dining at a restaurant
    • Local cafe/tea shop in the neighbourhood
    • Walks in the park or neighbourhood
    • Going to the movies when theatres re-open 

Rise in thoughtful, romantic gestures

Post the second wave of the pandemic, there has been a significant increase in positive behaviour observed in online dating. About 9 in 10 (85%) of single Indians surveyed feel there has been a meaningful rise in positive dating behaviours.

  • 46% of those surveyed claim there is a rise in thoughtful, romantic gestures.
    • Chennai and Pune emerge as the most romantic with 46% claiming to have noticed an increase in thoughtful and romantic gestures, followed by New Delhi (44%), Bengaluru (44%), Mumbai (42%), and Kolkata (42%).

Over the past year, Bumble has made several updates to its platform, including introducing 150 new interest badges in dating profiles and launching its “Night In” feature, where two people can participate in an interactive game during a video chat. The company also recently launched Snap’s AR Lenses within Bumble video calls and launched video notes that utilize Snapchat’s technology.

Samarpita Samaddar, Communications Director, Bumble India, said, “As our recent research illustrates, millennials and GenZ are more intentional about dating in 2021 as one in two single Indians are looking for a committed, serious relationship this year especially post the second wave of the pandemic in India.”

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